So proud to have been honored with a speaking opportunity at yesterday’s incredible March for Women’s Lives rally in downtown Los Angeles. Marching with my Santa Barbara, Ventura and Angelino brothers and sisters in the largest rally in the nation—some 750,000 men, women and children strong was an awe-inspiring and uplifting experience.

And when gridlock occurred, because no one anticipated or was prepared for three-quarters of a million people descending on downtown Los Angeles on a Saturday morning, we all stayed calm, polite and respectful of each other. There was no pushing, or shouting or disrespect. When a few participants felt faint or physical distress, we all came together as a kind and loving community to give aid and support.

This is the compassionate and caring America I know and love. Where we come together as a community to help, uplift and inspire each other to be the best we can be; to be lifted by that sense of shared purpose and vision; to embrace everyone who cares about this country’s future and all the people who make up the incredibly diverse quilt of cultures, races, religions, ethnicities and orientations. A very proud and humble day, to be sure!

And finally, a shout out and thank you to the Los Angeles Police Department for their very low-key presence at the event. While you were clearly surprised at the size of the crowd, you were appropriately invisible and respectful as those assembled expressed our most fundamental first amendment rights to speak out in sharing our demands, concerns and disappointments with the bitter, hateful and angry redirection of this country under Donald Trump’s administration.

Mr. Trump: We have hope, not fear in a better future. Do not take us down the dark path of hatred, exclusivity and intolerance that you spoke of in your Inaugural speech. We are Americans. We can do and be better. You saw it yesterday around the country and world. It is time for you to stop tweeting and start listening to the voice of your people. Yesterday was a clear and dramatic statement from America that this is the direction we want you to take. Do not ignore the millions of voices speaking spontaneously and loudly as you take the reins of power.

We are watching, we are listening……and we will not be ignored.

Today I wear black

Today I wear black

Today I wear black as the most unprepared, unqualified and unstable President in my lifetime is sworn in as President of the most powerful nation in the world.

And while today is a day of mourning for the advances and values that have made our democracy the envy of the people of the world, there is little time to grieve. We have much work to do.

Tomorrow we march. Then we organize; we fight for justice, equality, respect for all our people and peace in the world.

We will hold this President, his Cabinet and the Congress of the United States accountable for the safety, health, freedom opportunity and success of our principles and values during the time they have the power to impact our lives.

To make them accountable, we must support the responsible media by subscribing to them so they can continue to flourish and exist in a time where propaganda has replaced fact and news. We must support organizations that will speak truth to power by litigating our rights and protections through the judicial process. We must seek out and engage those in so-called “red-states” to be clear on what is and is not fact and not succumb to threats and fear-mongering in making their electoral decisions. We must hold all our elected officials accountable by calling them out when they misrepresent, mislead or follow money rather than the needs of their constituents. We must persist and resist over the time period this administration exists and fight for saner, more compassionate and more respectful leaders to replace what has just become the leadership of our great nation. The direction of our nation is dangerous for all humankind and our planet at this moment in history.

We can and we must do better.

Unbowed and unbroken

Unbowed and unbroken

We know what we’re up against: the right wing agenda that is taking over as a result of a Republican congress and an unstable, unprepared and unqualified national leader who has said and signaled that he will be dismantling many of the programs that Californians have supported, and which led to the landslide victory here in California for Hillary Clinton.

Many across the country are looking to California and our strong progressive presence for leadership and direction. California represents a beacon of light and hope.

As we wait with anxiety at what we will have to endure as this reality TV personality takes over the federal government, it is my commitment and intention not to be silent; to be strong, forthright and clear on what we are doing to combat the backward policies and politics that will undermine the middle class, set women and minorities back decades and threaten the health and safety of the planet. It will be a policy of persistence and resistance.

We here in California are committed to standing tall and strong. It is my hope that by sharing my work and thoughts, it will provide energy and determination not to be silent or complicit and help support the commitment to keep California the “state that invents the future” for all people who commit to working hard, playing by the rules and doing their best!

There are things you can do now to fight back:

  • Donate to the organizations of your choice—those who are threatened directly by the Trump policies, and those who will litigate against anticipated excesses and violations of our civil and constitutional liberties and and environmental and employment laws aimed at protecting working people and the planet.

Onward and forward!

Ventura County Star Endorsement

Ventura County Star Endorsement

The Ventura County Star’s Endorses to Re-elect Hannah-Beth Jackson

Editorial: Re-elect Hannah-Beth Jackson to state Senate

Engaging state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson in a discussion on public policy is like enrolling in a master’s class in government.

Known for her fierce advocacy for women and family issues, the Democrat from Santa Barbara is also deeply knowledgeable, and deeply committed, to many other issues and ideas, ranging from education to prison reform. But in each instance, she will examine those ideas — and be realistic about their political success — through the lens of how they would impact people.

Jackson is running for her second term representing the 19th Senate District, and The Star Editorial Board endorses her re-election bid against Republican opponent Colin Patrick Walch. The district includes Santa Barbara County and west Ventura County.

Her career is steeped in public policy engagement, from her law career in both the public and private sector, her involvement in local and state women’s organizations and her service in the Assembly from 1998-2004.

Last year she won passage of a hallmark piece of legislation, the California Fair Pay Act, which requires employers to pay employees of the opposite sex equivalent wages for “substantially similar work,” a marked change from the former standard of equal pay for equal work. Jackson used the new language based on negotiations with the state Chamber of Commerce, which showed her willingness to adjust her legislation to win support without abandoning her principles.

This year she won legislative approval of another one of her priorities, the New Parent Leave Act. It lowers the limits for which businesses must permit parental leave to include those with 25 to 49 employees. The bill was vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown, who expressed concern about its impact. Jackson vows to reintroduce the bill.

Those two bills are part of a mission by the California Legislative Women’s Caucus, which Jackson chairs, that also includes creating greater access to child care and better pay for child care providers, and increasing state aid programs to help lift recipients out of poverty.

Jackson is concerned about the long-term economic viability of state revenues, despite what she called a positive session where the Legislature “kept the lid on spending exuberance,” as she puts it. Like others, she is concerned about a boom-and-bust financing cycle because so much state revenue is built on taxing the wealthy, which creates uncertainty in down economic times.

That fiscal uncertainty in government, she says, rolls down to decisions by business, by workers, by consumers. She wants the state to begin looking for more stable funding sources, suggesting exploration of ideas such as a sales tax on services.

Education has long been a concern for Jackson, and she wants to find ways to “tighten and focus our education system” so students are taught to think critically. That starts with a better investment in child care and requires more attention to early childhood education. At the upper ends of the education spectrum, Jackson advocates school programs that will train students to learn the skills necessary to work in the 21st century economy rather than simply obtain diplomas.

She also would advocate changes in how we approach incarceration of criminals, with a greater push for rehabilitation combined with a stronger system to provide released inmates with support on the outside to help reduce the state’s high recidivism rate.

And Jackson remains firmly committed to environmental protection, particularly when it comes to her district. She has been engaged throughout the year with state and federal bureaucracies regarding the followup to the Refugio oil spill north of Santa Barbara, the Summerland beach oil leakage and the rusty, dangerous oil and gas equipment on Rincon Island.

She also carried, along with state Sen. Richard Pan, the legislation that cleaned up state law regarding autopsies and the role of medical examiners. That was legislation she adopted based on what happened in Ventura County last year with the county medical examiner.

That is a good example of how Jackson can focus on what is important and necessary within her district, while still having the capacity to tackle the broader societal issues.

We do not always agree with her on positions, but we always know she comes to her views from a solid policy basis and is always willing to listen to the other side.

We endorse Jackson for re-election to the state Senate in the 19th District. The residents of the district, and of California, should continue to benefit from her wisdom, skills and acumen.


Santa Barbara Independent Endorsement

Santa Barbara Independent’s Endorsement:

State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson has not wasted a moment of her first term in Sacramento. During those four years, Governor Jerry Brown has signed Jackson’s landmark equal-pay-for-equal-work bill into law. The bill puts the onus on private employers to legally justify any gender-based wage discrepancy between employees doing similar work. On paper, it doesn’t sound like much, but in the real world, it moves the needle significantly. Likewise, on the issue of date rape and sexual violence, Jackson has been legislatively prolific, introducing and passing bills that redefine what’s considered legal consent to better protect the victimized in educational settings. One bill gives community colleges authority to discipline students for transgressions taking place off campus; another requires high school health classes to address issues of sexual consent.

Hannah-Beth Jackson   Photo By Paul Wellman

In response to last year’s Plains All American Pipeline oil spill, Jackson held oversight committee hearings in Santa Barbara — where locals attempted to hold the pipeline company accountable — and passed a bill requiring the state to better utilize fishing fleets for emergency cleanup operations. Jackson works hard, is accessible, and never gives up, no matter how many times the governor vetoes her bills trying to regulate the intrusion of drones.

‘Yes Means Yes’ Bill

Hannah-Beth Jackson has passed a law that will allow community colleges to discipline students for sexual assault violations even if they occur off-campus. She is also the joint author of the California Affirmative Consent Bill ‘Yes Means Yes’ that was signed into law last year. HBJ co-authored the Bill with California’s Senate President pro Tem Kevin de Leon. For more information on ‘Yes Means Yes’ please click here:

Passersby write messages to sexual assault victims during an event held by the organization 7000 in Solidarity at the University of California, Los Angeles, campus in June.